The president of the PTB, Raoul Hedebouw, launched a call on Saturday for rotating mobilizations within the framework of “angry fridays“, launched from September 30 in cities across the country. These actions will be targeted against energy tariffs, but also against the government, “accomplice of energy multinationals“.
“While hundreds of thousands of families no longer know how to pay their bills, an energy group in Belgium doesn’t give a damn about the excavations, namely Engie, with the complicity of the government“, he said in front of thousands of activists and sympathizers of the far left party. The PTB is organizing this weekend in Ostend a new edition of “Manifiesta”. This gathering, both festive, embellished with a musical program on the mode festival, and political activities (debates, and political speeches), attracted, according to the PTB, some 14,000 people.
Raoul Hedebouw (re)said all the bad things he thought about the agreement reached with the government on Friday to help households faced with an unprecedented energy bill. “Magnette, De Croo, Van der Straeten, Van Peteghem, Rousseau, Bouchez all speak today of price freezes and taxing the surplus profits of multinationals, but that’s blabla? They decided on a small bonus of 200 euros. For two months… To come into our pockets, it’s decided in a few seconds, but to go into the pockets of Engie, 9 months and still nothing“, he commented.
The president of the PTB has once again accused the government of having a secret deal concluded with Engie-Electrabel in the middle of the summer, when Alexander De Croo and Tinne Van der Straeten went to Paris for the extension of the two nuclear reactors . They accepted, according to him, the demand formulated by the management of Engie to make pay the bill for nuclear waste by the government and not to impose any serious taxation of its superprofits.
Incidentally, Raoul Hedebouw attacked the FEB, the Federation of Belgian Enterprises, which is asking for wages and their indexation to be blocked. “What it does not say is that the automatic indexation of wages only partially compensates for the current record inflation, that it is domestic consumption that still saves growth a little in Belgium and that if wages are blocked, it is the purchasing power which decreases and therefore the expenses and orders in stores or SMEs“, he added.
The president of the FGTB takes the stage
On stage before him, the president of the FGTB, Thierry Bodson, maintained the threat of a common front strike on November 9, “if the world of work is not heard on the reduction of energy bills, the increase of wages and social allowances“. The president of the socialist trade union judged that it was necessary to adapt the wage blocking law “because today, a full-time job can no longer make life worthy. With a part-time, it is absolutely impossible“, he insisted, fixing an appointment in this context, at the demonstration on September 21 in Brussels.
Lut Cromphout, president of ACV Puls (the central Christian union employees), called for “a struggle, together, for a better future“.
PTB chairman backs targeted sanctions against Putin and oligarchs
The PTB chairman also advocated for targeted sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and against Russian oligarchs, as well as for diplomatic initiatives in the context of the war in Ukraine. “We are paying a high price for the consequences of the war in Ukraine. Because today, it is not Putin and his clique who are paying the price for the sanctions, but the working class. Gazprom and Putin continue to earn profits from rising prices“, did he declare.
Raoul Hedebouw judged that at the same time, others, such as American multinationals, producers of shale gas “also continue to grow. No wonder there is enthusiasm for this war in the US establishment. Not to mention multinational armament companies… And stop talking to me about human rights and war, just or not. When it came to bombing Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen? who among all these people worried about human rights?“.
Faced with the danger to peace in the world, the president of the PTB believes that a “strong movement for peace in Europe” is necessary for “compel our governments to stop following in the wake of American imperialism and reach out to other peoples of the world, for the peace and security of all“.